Written by Jonathan Wojcik


It's time once again for one of our most popular Halloween traditions! Every year, we shine a spotlight on some of the strangest, creepiest creatures from reader-submitted dreams, nightmares and Hallucinations, and we even get some guest artists joining in!

Our first five nightmare beings of the year were all posted in the comments section of last year's final nightmare post, and if you're up to speed with this feature, you'll notice I've cleaned up the posting style a little!


Posted by Dharr5:
"i remember having a dream when i was little of running from this pink coneheaded thing to get help from my parents, only to find that they had somehow morphed into these things as well! then i woke up and was super spooked. I think it was some combination of the realistic patrick picture and majin buu, but 2 times creepier. it really freaked me out, and for the rest of the day i couldn't get it out of my little 7 year old brain, and i still even think of it now sometimes! absolutley creepy."

We start with a very short and simple one. As usual, my vision of the monster probably differs from what the original dreamer experienced, but this was what popped into my head, and it effectively skeeved me out to think of these things not only terrorizing a child, but replacing that child's family.


Posted by Disco Dave:
"So the other day I had an absolutely HORRIFYING dream, the first I had in years that I would describe as a "nightmare". So it started with me as a child playing a lost Humongous Entertainment Game called "Evolution". When I booted up the game it put me in a swamp when suddenly a meteorite fell out of the sky and landed on a dead tree with eyestalks and a mouth. The meteor then cracked open to reveal on one-eyed flower, which had telekinetic powers. I just clicked on stuff, creating normal Humongous Entertainment style weirdness, until I clicked on a butterfly, which flew and landed on the one-eyed flower, which then closed up and turned into a cartoonish frog with a ball-shaped body. It then ate an actual frog, which it felt move around in its body, until it turned into a humanoid frog with simplisti limbs and an almost Freddy Fazbear-like face. The dream suddenly skipped to an ice cave were the frog chased a lion cub into a tunnel when it (the frog) made the most ungodly howl and the screen turned black. Then it cut to a shot of a cage made of ice when the frog emerged from the top of the screen upside down, were it opened its mouth impossibly wide, and, brushed its teeth with a giant toothbrush. Then the computer turned off.

I turned around, and the frog was there, but it changed forms once again, this time it had a maniacal grin, completely white eyes, and donkey ears. It had a muscular body, the legs were still simplistic, but the hands now three-fingered and clawed. But the most disturbing feature was a human head fused to its chest, the throat slit so its now swollen tongue sloppily dropped through the hole at the bottom of its head. It told me not to tell anyone about its existence or it would eat me and dump my body in Antarctica. Me, a frightened six-year-old, did as it said, and it left. Cut to the modern day, in my grandparents’ house, I was watching the news, and they were reporting on a child’s body found in the Antarctic, his body missing its lower half. I knew there was more than one of these things now, and somebody had to find the disc before more frogs were unleashed upon the world. I told someone about my experience, I forget who, and waited in my room for the frog to show up. Then I noticed a golf ball-sized boil on my arm, it punctured and a creamy green substance came out. I squeezed my finger, only to find my muscle tissue turned into the same stuff, and it was coming out of the boil. It then cut to me on the floor, missing my lower half, and the stuff leaking out of my upper half. Then the frog came out of the puddle of fluid and told me something along the lines of "I told you not to tell anyone". Then the dream ended."

When an unusual number of frog-related dreams cropped up in the same year, we sort of made frogs the official mascot animal of the Nightmare Menagerie, so let's all give a warm welcome to the Nightmare Frog Kingdom's latest addition. I'm sure other guest artists we've had could have depicted this one better than I did, and if you feel like contributing this year I hope you do consider putting your own spin on this ultracreep. Fortunately, I'm not a child anymore so it's probably fine to have shared this here, but if you're under eighteen I guess you'd better keep a lid on it if you don't want to end up in antarctica.


Posted by Lukas Reimer:
" I remember having a really bizarre dream where I was just in a blank void, walking through emptiness. There was "floor" beneath me, as I was stepping on a flat, smooth surface, but there were no visible boundaries, just darkness. I stopped suddenly when I heard very faint banjo noodling behind me, just somebody plucking around on the stings, no real melody, but still somehow coherent. I start to walk faster, but the music gets closer, and I turn my head while speed-walking to see a bizarre, banjo-shaped entity behind me. I try to speed up while still walking as to not show fear, but it keeps getting closer and the banjo music louder. Eventually I turn my head again and it's significantly closer. This continues several times until it's about 70 feet away. I turn my head once more and can make out its details clearly now. It has a huge, goofy muzzle with warts on the tip of its bulbous, nostril-less snout, and has big teeth like piano keys jutting out from it, along with no visible lower jaw. It has huge, swirly eyes, with no visible eyelids, each facing different directions, and above its wild eyes are massive, bushy black eyebrows. The thing's limbs are black and spindly, and the banjo strings run down from under its snout and strangely end above the resonator. I suddenly become horrified as I see that the resonator is the SKIN OF A HUMAN FACE, stretched over the empty hole in its chest. As soon as I realize this, the "camera" of the dream cuts to a closeup of the face and the banjo music becomes unbearably loud, like in those meme videos, and I start to sprint, panicking as I instinctively know it wants to to do the same to my face. The "camera" cuts to being in front of me, sprinting impossibly fast (like 50 MPH) as the thing rapidly approaches me from behind. I woke up terrified, unable to move or speak, and just sat there until morning. To this day the Demon Banjo, as I have dubbed it, remains surreal and terrifying to me."

Another one with a human face in the chest, albeit in a very different fashion! I wasn't sure what color it should be, but I settled on something between banjo wood and putrid skin. I like how of all the powers a monstrous cartoon banjo goblin could have had, it wound up having Cheetah-like land speed.


Posted by Lady Abyzou:
"I had a dream that I was a lonely survivor in a zombie apocalypse scenario (how original). I was hiding in a large barn full of hay. I had a shotgun for defense, but I was out of shells. Then I noticed a really bizarre undead creature in the barn with me. It was a short, compact creature - about the size of a small dog - and it had a skinless, eyeless (as in, no eyes at all - not even sockets) vulture-like head with a large, hooked beak made of bone. In place of a body, it had a wooden birdhouse; apparently packed to bursting with flesh, organs and shards of bone, all of which could be seen leaking out from cracks in the birdhouse-torso. It moved on a pair of wooden wheels where legs would normally be, wobbling forwards and backwards awkwardly. The thing was unmistakably artificial, and I couldn't help feeling that it was an "aberration" among zombies (whatever that means).

Despite having a sense that this creature was one of the undead, it didn't appear to be hostile towards me at all. It was sniffing at the hay-covered ground as though searching for food. Looking for something to feed it with, I spotted several undead centipede-like things crawling through the hay beneath my feet. They were entirely made of bones, with a tiny spine making up their long bodies, ribs in place of legs, and a spade-shaped skull for a head - featureless except for a pair of dark eye sockets (like a frog's skull as seen from a bird's eye view). I scooped up a handful of them, went over to the creature and offered them to it.

The creature happily snapped them up in its beak one by one, making a hoarse cackling sound. But while it was chewing the last centipede, something unusual happened: the creature's beak shattered into splinters. A moment later it began to fall apart into a collection of bones, wooden parts and scraps of meat. Somehow I knew that it had been "poisoned" by the centipedes."

I couldn't have really done this one visual justice; I'm sure it was far grodier and gorier than anything I've ever drawn, and yet, this isn't even a "scary" one, because it never really does anything wrong! It's just a lonely, hungry baby...and unfortunately doesn't seem to know what's actually good for it to eat.


Posted by Ryan/Shihan42:
"Had a weird dream just the other night. For some reason me and several other adults were gathering children together in a medium sized room, with no real distinguishing features. After we had "enough" we suddenly "woke" up, like we were entranced. A single child in the middle of the room started praying and chanting is a very un-childlike voice. Suddenly the room shifted and changed into something else room like. You know that trope in games where there is always that one level where the walls and floor are made out of meat and organs, and it breathes? It was that concept, but everything turned into insect exoskeleton, but still amaged to breathe and flex somehow.

I could feel a presence and asked aloud what it was. What I perceived as a room replied that it was very old and very powerful. It said that it was the god worshipped by all children without knowing before being overriden by whatever beliefs they develop later in life. All children knew of its existence and it had many names. It slowly feeds on the life-force of children to sustain itself, but rarely enough to kill. It told me that what I had just done was gather sacrifices for it at the behest of its only priest. Who, every few hundred years, sacrifices a few souls to the creature in return for eternal childhood. What struck me as weird, was that this entity spoke in VERY SIMPLE language, sometimes even resorting to pictures to communicate in a ways that even very small children would understand. After I woke up I knew that the creature was my minds flu-ridden interpretation of the "bogeyman" and I the rooms I stood in for the dream was of course a closet."


I KNOW I can't have done this one justice with my quickie doodling, but I am damn near stunned by this concept. The "Bogeyman" manifesting AS a horrific closet is just too good already, but on top of it we get this lore about him as this ancient god unknowingly worshipped by all children before they can comprehend anything else to believe in. I almost can't find words for how grippingly cool and terrifying a concept that is. It's like the ultimate, primordial monster of all monsters. I'm forever going to have to interpret all other takes on the "bogeyman" as just some sort of extension of this Bogeyman. It's THAT intensely perfect.

Not knowing how to really draw an insect exoskeleton in the shape of a closet...I just lifted the scales of a flea. Are you tired yet of my obsession with Siphonaptera?